Harken National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championships rescheduled for 7th – 9th May 2021

 In Major Regattas, News, Youth Training Programme

The Harken National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championship will now take place from the 7th-9th May 2021 after being postponed from its original early March dates due to a level three lockdown in Auckland. 

Secondary school teams from right up and down the country will descend upon the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in a bid to be crowned national champions. All racing will be completed in the Squadrons fleet of ten Elliott 7 Keelboats on the water right outside the RNZYS.

With up to twenty teams taking part, the format see’s the fleet split into A and B groups, with Group A racing on Friday and Group B racing on Saturday. Up to six fleet races will be sailed on each of those days, with the top five finishers on Friday and Saturday qualifying for the Gold Fleet, and the bottom five moving into the Silver Fleet. Finals Day then takes place on Sunday, with up to four races scheduled for each fleet. The Gold Fleet team with the best results / lowest scores out of those final four races will be declared the winners.

Not only will the winners be declared national champions and etch their name on the Harken National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championship Trophy, but they will also receive automatic entry into the NZ Match Racing National Championship at the RNZYS from the 7th – 10th October 2021. The second and third placed teams from the Gold Fleet will gain entry into the NZ Match Racing Championship Qualifying Regatta later this year.

In another exciting development, Yachting New Zealand, in association with the RNZYS, will be producing a full highlight show of the racing which will screen on Sky Sport Next and on the Sky Sport Next YouTube channel. This show was also produced during last year’s event and was a very popular hit with viewers and competitors.

This event is also a major stepping-stone for young keelboat sailors who want to go on to train in the world renowned RNZYS Mastercard Youth Training Programme. Robbie McCutcheon won the 2019 event with his Westlake Boys High School team and has since gone on to join the programme with great success already to his name, including being a two-time winner of the CentrePort Youth International Match Racing Regatta as well as podium finishes at various other regattas. 

The 2020 event was an absolute classic, with the Kings College team helmed by Hamish McLaren just scraping through to the Gold Fleet before going on to clean up on Finals Day with three wins and a second place to claim a dominant regatta victory. 

The RNZYS is keenly looking forward to this year’s edition and cannot wait to see, and host, New Zealand’s best up and coming youth keelboat talent here at the Home of the America’s Cup.

All regatta documents, including an updated Notice of Race can be found on the RNZYS website HERE: http://rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/harken-schools-champs/

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